This French onion soup pasta dish is an easy one-pot recipe that features all the classic flavors from the classic French dish: caramelized onions, a white wine-based garlic savory broth and fresh thyme. It makes for a super simple meal packed with deep flavors typical of slowly cooked sauces, yet it is quick enough to whip up on busy weeknights.
There are so many amazing things to love about this French onion soup pasta recipe.
It combines the classic flavors from a French onion soup but served as a sauce for pasta. Mind-blowing!
It is packed with a huge amount of flavors, thanks to the combination of sweet caramelized onions, white wine, garlic and thyme. It does look like a fancy meal, although this is a one-pot pasta meal that's easy to make without much of a fuss.
The cooked wine helps to make the sauce deeper in flavor and we couldn’t get enough of the sweet and soft cooked onions.
And here is the thing: cooking the noodles right into the broth with the onions creates a sauce that is naturally super rich and silky. I make one-pot pasta dishes often, such as this pasta curry and this vegan hamburger helper, but this one-pot French onion pasta recipe definitely is unique.
The onions take about 20 minutes to cook, but otherwise, this recipe comes together easily and is mostly hand-free, making it a perfect speedy weeknight dinner!
Hope you give it a try! ❤️
Highlights of this recipe
- Easy one-pot recipe inspired by the tik tok viral pasta recipe
- A simple pasta dish that mimics the French onion soup flavor
- Fast to make yet the sauce has a complex flavor typical of a slow-cooking meal
- Adaptable to your taste and can be used as a base to add some more veggies or protein
- Healthy and completely vegan, vegetarian and easy to make gluten-free
Ingredients you will need
(See below in the recipe card for the measurements)
- Onions: I used 2 large yellow onions for this recipe, but you can use 3 for a more oniony result. Yellow onions and Spanish onions are great choices for caramelization, although if you have sweet onions, then use these, they make for tasty and sweeter caramelized onion. Red onions also work, but they might turn your sauce into a different color.
- Cloves of garlic: they add so much flavor to the sauce! Add as much as you want. I used 3 large cloves, but more would be welcome too.
- White wine: classic ingredient for making a French-style onion soup. It deepens the flavor beautifully, especially useful for a sauce that's cooked quickly. Dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, is a great choice. That being said, if you don't have wine, then I would just skip it.
- Herbs: I used a combination of fresh thyme leaves and a bay leaf to flavor the sauce, which are classic aromatics when making onion soup. Dried thyme would be fine if in a pinch or even other dried herbs would be ok if you don't have thyme.
- Sherry vinegar: another traditional ingredient usually included when making French-style onion soup. You can swap for Worcestershire sauce if you don't have any.
- Pasta: choose your favorite kind of pasta. I find that for one-pot pasta recipes, short noodles work better. I chose trumpets (campanelle), but penne, rigatoni, orecchiette, bow ties, macaroni or ziti would be perfect here.
- Vegetable broth: a classic French onion soup is made using Beef broth, but I used vegetable broth from the brand 365 that I got at Whole Foods Market. Feel free to use homemade vegetable broth, which would enhance the flavor even more.
How to make a one-pot French onion pasta recipe
(See below in the recipe card for the full recipe)
The longest part of making this recipe is slicing the onions and cooking them until soft. Once this is done, then you are almost there and all you will have to do is to simmer the noodles in the flavorful broth until al dente.
Prepare the onions
Remove the stem/apex of the onion, then remove the peel. Slice them in half and lay the flat part on your cutting board. Then, slice the halved onion about ¼-1/2 inch thick creating thin half-moons.
Caramelize the onions
Warm up a large pot over medium-high heat with a little olive oil and then add the sliced onions with a generous pinch of salt.
Stir and cook the onion until browned, soft and caramelized. Try to stir them once in a while but also, leave them untouched for a few minutes at a time to ensure they caramelize properly. This process should take about 20 minutes.
Simmer and cook the pasta
Once the onions look done to your liking and have a deep golden brown color, then add the garlic, stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes.
Then, deglaze the onion by adding the white wine and stir. Let it cook for a few minutes, just enough for most of the wine to evaporate and scrape the bottom of the pan to unlock all the brown bits.
Then, add the dry pasta, broth, thyme, bay leaf and sherry vinegar. Stir and then, disperse the noodles so they are all covered into the both. Cover and simmer on medium heat until the pasta is al dente. Stir every few minutes (check on your pasta packaging for an estimate of the cooking time) and add a little more broth if needed.
Finish up and serve
Once the noodles are al dente and the sauce thicker, then add the vegan cream (optional) and stir.
You can remove the sprigs of fresh thyme and the bay leaf, if you want, before serving. Enjoy!
- To help speed up the caramelization process, then you can slice the onions thinner by using a mandoline.
- When caramelizing the onions, be sure to stay close to the pan and watch so they don't burn. You can reduce the heat to medium-low as needed so they can cook slowly (this helps caramelize them without burning).
- As mentioned above, try to leave the onions untouched on and off in the pan so they can caramelize as opposed to steam.
- If the onions are cooking too fast and tend to either stick to the bottom of the pot or burn/brown too much, then you can add a splash of water and turn down the heat.
- One-pot pasta recipes are great when you stir in the pot regularly to help release the starches from the noodles (which makes for a silky and rich sauce) and to ensure the noodles do not stick to the bottom.
- Adjust the consistency of the sauce to your preference by playing with the amount of liquid you add. I like mine less saucy for this recipe, but for a saucier result, then simply add more broth (adjust seasoning accordingly).
- I find that one-pot recipes including pasta easily turn overcooked, so watch carefully and stop the cooking process once just al dente (it will keep cooking while in the pan).
Serve with some freshly ground black pepper and extra fresh thyme. If you have any, you can also add some vegan parmesan cheese!
You can also serve it with a side of vegetables, such as roasted zucchini and broccoli, or try pairing with squash, steamed broccoli, asparagus or cauliflower.
I also like to serve saucy pasta with a green salad, especially this one where there are not many vegetables implicated. This creamy balsamic dressing is very popular on my blog and would work well paired with the flavor of this dish, or try this simple arugula pear salad.
This recipe makes for such a simple pasta dish! You can add more to it or easily customize it to what's available to you.
Here are a few variation ideas:
- Vegetables: to add more veggies to your meal, then feel free to also include some green peas, zucchini, mushrooms, or baby spinach. You can add them to the pan once the onions are almost done caramelizing.
- Flavoring ingredients: you can swap the sherry vinegar for Worcestershire sauce or even a tiny amount of white wine vinegar to brighten up the flavor. Other ideas include brandy, balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
This recipe is best when enjoyed right away since the pasta will keep cooking while resting in the pan and might turn too soft.
If you do have some leftovers, then transfer to an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat using the microwave or the stove and add a splash of water if necessary.
How can I make it gluten-free?
The sauce recipe is naturally gluten-free, so feel free to choose GF noodles if necessary to make this recipe GF (brown rice noodles should work).
Can I omit the wine?
Yes, you can, although the flavor won't be as complex and satisfying. You can try to compensate by adding more herbs, a dollop of vegetable broth concentrate, more herbs, etc.
- Vegan caramelized onion gravy
- One-pot broccoli ramen
- Vegan coq au vin
- One-pot whole-wheat tomato pasta
- Vegan beef stew with tempeh
- One-pot cajun orzo
I hope you like this French onion soup pasta recipe as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
One-Pot French Onion Soup Pasta
- 2 large yellow or sweet onions - finely sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic - crushed
- ½ cup dry white wine - such as sauvignon blanc
- 2½-3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar - you can also use Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 Bay leaf
- 8 oz short pasta of choice - I used campanelle or trumpets
- salt and ground black pepper - to taste
- 2-3 tbsp creamer - optional, I used the dairy-free cream from nut-pods
- Warm up a large skillet with a little olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons, or you can use oil spray), then add the slices of onion with a pinch of salt. Stir and cook on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes (or longer if you have the time). The onions are ready when they have a deep brown coloration and they turn sweet. Stir on and off to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan but also, encourage them to caramelize by leaving them untouched for a few minutes at a time. If they brown too quickly and tend to burn, then turn down the heat and add a splash of water.
- When the onions look done to your liking, then add the garlic, stir and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Deglaze with the white wine and cook for another minute or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the vegetable broth, sherry vinegar, sprigs of thyme, bay leaf and dry pasta (uncooked). Stir to combine and make sure that all the noodles are well covered by the broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and let the pasta cook on medium heat until al dente, about 12 minutes (check the cooking time on the packaging for estimation). Uncover and stir once in a while to make sure it does not stick to the bottom. You can add a little more broth if needed.
- Once done, taste to adjust the salt and add the creamer, if using. Serve warm garnished with ground black pepper and a side of crusty bread. Enjoy!
- Storage tips: Similar to most one-pot pasta recipes, this dish is best when enjoyed right away since the noodles will keep cooking in the warm sauce. That being said, the leftovers are great too! Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days and reheat using the microwave or the stove (add more broth if needed).
- You can add more veggies to this recipe, especially green peas or mushrooms.
Please note that the nutritional information is an estimate provided for informational purposes only (calculated by software) and may vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used. Consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if you need precise nutrition calculations for health reasons.